A SURPRISE by Patricia Gager

My son, Toby, was diagnosed as ADHD with emotional disturbance at age 5. He was misdiagnosed for twenty years and it took a lot of constant begging and staying on top of it to try to get the correct diagnoses.  My son's been incarcerated in our local county jail for sixteen months as of April 1, 2017.  He was finally diagnosed in jail last November with autism. It explained a lot of his repetitions, fixations, and other things when he was growing up. By my estimate, my son is about 13-15 years old brain wise, and turned 25 chronologically in jail. He's charged with a 2nd degree felony by his own admission and his court appointed attorney has done absolutely nothing. 

A couple weeks ago a friend of mine referred me to an attorney who handles these types of cases. I called and spoke to him over the phone several times.  He wanted to meet my son before agreeing to take my son's case — to make sure they got along. I was surprised, but thinking about it later, it made sense to me.

The attorney saw my son on Tuesday. I went for my weekly visit on Wednesday. My son was in a fairly good mood explaining that the attorney had come to see him. He said, "We got along good." 

Before I left my son said, "Mom, did you know this attorney is blind?"  I told him I didn't know because we'd only spoken on the phone.

After my visit with my son, I went to see the attorney and, sure enough, he was blind. He had his cane and everything. I walked away feeling much better about my son's situation just from the intelligent conversation and the options he provided on what strategies we could use. I felt better than I had in the last sixteen months. I never imagined I would get an attorney with a disability to help my son with a disability. I just wanted to share.

Toby with his sister, Felicia, and mom, Patricia.

Toby with his sister, Felicia, and mom, Patricia.

From the oldest